Exclusive: NAAG Doubles Down on Woke ESG Investments, Invites BlackRock to Summit

Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks during an election night watch party Tue
AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), an organization that appears to be a “nonpartisan national forum” for state attorneys general, doubles down on using taxpayer funds to invest in companies that promote left-wing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.

NAAG’s president, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, sent a letter to the organization’s membership in March, which was obtained by Breitbart News, appearing to claim he will do nothing about stopping the ESG-style investments with his organization since there are no policies in place to stop them:

Finally, a word about ESG investing. NAAG has long-standing investment policies that prioritize returns. There are limitations that make sense for a group of attorneys general: no tobacco, no pornography. None of the investment policies address ESG investing in any form.  [Emphasis added.]

However, there is a great diversity of opinion among our members regarding ESG. I, like many others, have major objections to it, but many of our colleagues support it. I do not propose to alter our existing policy, nor is NAAG the proper forum to resolve these policy disagreements. ESG is outside the overlap in that Venn diagram. [Emphasis added.]

I believe NAAG has made major structural changes that make it much more stable and bipartisan, protected against moves to control it by either party. Thank you for your involvement and trust, and know that your comments are always welcome.

This follows exclusive reporting from Breitbart News in January that showed the “nonpartisan national forum” invested money from public settlements into companies and investment funds pushing left-wing ideology environmental, social, and governance (ESG), which has led the organization to receive backlash from Republicans.

However, after the initial reports, NAAG executive director Brian Kane sent an email to the organization’s membership stating “there is no mention of ESG or any other consideration not consistent with the uniform prudent investor rule” in the organization’s investments, despite BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager that proudly pushes ESG investing, as well as other entities, being listed in NAAG’s portfolio as of December 31.

ESG investing is a form of leftist activism in the financial sector used to influence the way Wall Street financial firms and corporations, such as BlackRock, continue to take social and political positions that do not relate to their business, much like stances associated with climate change, as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda.

In fact, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink best described the ESG movement in 2019 when he wrote, “Society is increasingly looking to companies, both public and private, to address pressing social and economic issues. These issues range from protecting the environment to retirement to gender and racial inequality.” In another instance, Fink also stated that “behaviors are going to have to change” with companies, and BlackRock sometimes has to “force behaviors.”

Additionally, according to documents obtained by Breitbart News, representatives of BlackRock were also in attendance during NAAG’s April summit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The records dated April 10 showed that Peter Vaughan, the Managing Director–Senior Counsel for BlackRock, and Bryan Wood, Director, Global Public Policy Group at BlackRock, were in attendance for the 2023 Attorney General Symposium and Presidential Summit from April 17 to 19.

“BlackRock’s move to attend the NAAG conference is nothing more than the latest attempt to obscure its breach of fiduciary duty with Attorneys General,” Consumers’ Research executive director Will Hild told Breitbart News. After it was discovered that NAAG was investing in ESG, many Attorneys General rightfully voiced concerns about public funds being misused by NAAG to push a far-left political agenda via BlackRock.

“While BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and other ESG extremists continue to see public pushback on their radical agenda, BlackRock is sending henchmen to try and force these patriots to turn their back on American people. We at Consumers’ Research will continue to call out these woke companies for putting politics over their consumers,” Hild continued.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jbliss@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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